urban wildlife

:Tag: urban wildlife

These Feet are Made for Diving

Ducks have reason to be nervous around us humans in the winter, and diving ducks are always dive-ready if danger is imminent. Sometimes, I refrain from even pointing my lens at ducks, having learned that this act alone can be a stressor for them. Almost all flying ducks will divert course, even a little, when they see an object like a lens pointed at them. Yesterday, I came upon this male and female Barrow's Goldeneye [...]

2012-01-31T20:06:23+00:00January 31st, 2012|Uncategorized|3 Comments

The Flying Wallendas … I Mean, Pijendas

I'm a sucker for pigeons. I loved them long before Hugh and I rescued a couple of lost racing pigeons, and I continue to love them long after. People who've never observed pigeons will marvel when they first notice how pigeons out-maneuver Peregrines in harrowing chases. These birds, whose ancestors sprang from the cliffs alongside their evolutionary partners, the falcons, have a lineage that defies their humble reputation. They've been war messengers, like Cher Ami. [...]

2012-01-26T21:21:15+00:00January 26th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Grackles & Apples …

... and grackles foraging across Nevada, exploiting urban food scraps. One of my favorite things about visiting southern climates is the summer night chatter of grackles ... the cavatina that becomes the dissonant ensemble of grackle song when huge groups of the birds roost on urban plazas. These were winter-time grackles -- Great-tailed Grackles roaming the parking lots of Las Vegas in search of handouts and leftovers. I particularly love the way grackles use their [...]

2012-01-17T05:05:10+00:00January 17th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|4 Comments

Bird Noir

There are wildlife photographers who apologize for any urban elements -- like street lamps -- in their bird images. I embrace those shots, for three reasons: I admire the rugged survivalists that are urban birds and wildlife. What we throw at them in the way of obstacles, pollution, windows, automobiles, poisons, traps, wires and electricity, and still ... they persist. They not only persist, they thrive. They find ways to turn our infrastructure into shelter [...]

2011-12-03T20:56:03+00:00December 3rd, 2011|Birds, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Home is Where the Cell Tower Is

Sequestered indoors for the rain, I've been sorting through my photo archives, hoping to cull my duds, once and for all. I came upon my gallery of Osprey shots ... taken this summer as I checked in occasionally with a local nesting couple. These two never did not appear to produce any young, but there were long spans when I didn't visit, so it's possible. I hope to see them together again next year as [...]

2011-11-25T19:04:02+00:00November 25th, 2011|Uncategorized|1 Comment

If a Heron Had Written “Your Song” …

Hugh and I watched two herons dance around the idea of landing on this roof, skirting the aerial chaos of gulls along Alki Beach. One finally planted its feet on the A-frame, while the other lurked in a tree above. Looking at the pic, Hugh started singing the lyric from Elton John's Your Song ... "I sat on the roof ... and kicked off the moss ... " It occurred to me that the heron [...]

2011-08-24T10:14:41+00:00August 24th, 2011|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Bald Eagle in the Backyard

This is a huge bonus of living in Seattle: the urban and suburban wildlife includes a multitude of Bald Eagles. This morning, Hugh went into our friends' garden to fill up their bird feeder -- a chore we both kind of enjoy. A huge contingent of birds descends right when our boots leave the scene of the feeder. As he walked into the garden, seed in hand, he saw this [very] big bird, perched on [...]

2011-03-08T20:57:51+00:00March 8th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dine Like an Eagle

We came upon this scene on a Seattle area beach . . . a small stretch of private community beach where we have a pass. Planted on the pebbles, way far away, too far for my 70-300mm lens, we watched as this Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) wrangled with a second eagle, a group of crows, and a vortex of gulls overhead, all looking for a freebie from the eagle's fish. The bird intruders annoyed the [...]

2010-10-24T01:24:37+00:00October 24th, 2010|Birds, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Pigeon Over Seattle

This pigeon did aerial turns and hovers that rivaled a raptor's. I captured a few frames as she took off from Pike Place Market and hovered for a few seconds against Seattle's skyline. Thanks to SkeletalMess on Flickr for the Creative Commons texture "Tainted" which I used in the above rendering. Related Pigeon Posts: Lancelot-Guinevere: The Case of the Castle Pigeon Changing Our Cultural View of Pigeons [...]

2010-10-06T14:04:05+00:00October 6th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments

I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart

A Starling's tribute to Duke Ellington . . . jockeying for best song position, and losing it to a crow. Shot with my Olympus E-520 and Zuiko 70-300mm. The photo was taken as the sun receded behind clouds, just above the horizon, so it was later-afternoon warm and filtered.

2010-10-05T00:13:07+00:00October 5th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments